October 14, 2021 5:30:39 pm
Turkey’s Rumeysa Gelgi has been named as the tallest woman living by Guinness Book of World Records 2022. She stands at 215.16cm (7ft 0.7in). Interestingly, Rumeysa was re-measured this year after she was first awarded the title for the tallest teenager living (female) back in 2014, when she was aged 18, as per the record website.
Reportedly, her tall stature is due to a condition called Weaver syndrome, an extremely rare condition which causes accelerated growth amongst other abnormalities, including skeletal maturation.
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Due to the condition, Rumeysa uses a wheelchair most of the time, but can move for short periods using a walker. While she unwinds by swimming, she likes to go out for meals with her family. Ever since her first title win, she has been using the medium to create awareness about rare medical conditions like her own.
According rarediseases.org, the exact cause of Weaver Syndrome is unknown. “Some researchers think, because there have been some cases of mildly affected mothers having sons who are more severely affected, that Weaver Syndrome may be inherited as an autosomal dominant trait with a gender-limited expression of symptoms, or an X-linked recessive trait. Others think that it may be an autosomal recessive trait. In some cases there are no signs of heredity in a family and the cause is unknown,” it reads.
According to Dr Shuchin Bajaj, founder director, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals, Weaver Syndrome is characterised by rapid growth which usually starts before birth (prenatal onset). “Physical growth and bone development (maturation) can occur more quickly than average. Other symptoms can include increased muscle tone (hypertonia) with exaggerated reflexes (spasticity), slow development of voluntary movements (psychomotor retardation), specific physical characteristics, and/or foot deformities,” he said.
“Treatment of Weaver Syndrome is symptomatic and supportive. An orthopedist can be consulted for correction of foot deformities. Genetic counseling may be of benefit to patients and their families,” he added.
As per the Guinness website, what is particularly fascinating is that both the tallest woman and man title holders are from Turkey — Rumeysa, and Sultan Kösen (251 cm; 8 ft 2.8 in) — a rare occurrence in Guinness World Records history.
The previous record holder was Yao Defen (China) who recorded an average height of 233.3 cm (7 ft 7 in) when last documented back in 2010.
Notably, 2009 was the last time the two holders shared the same nationality when China’s Bao Xi Shun (236.1 cm; 7 ft 8.95 in) and Yao Defen (233.3 cm; 7 ft 7 in) held the tallest male and female records respectively.
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